Are your students super competitive? Do you ever need to fill up 5 minutes at the end of your lesson? or, Do you want to start your class with 100% student participation? You should try incorporating Relay Races!
How do you set up a relay race?
Relay races can be used with any topic, vocabulary words, verbs, etc. Using power point or smart notebook, make a slide and split the page down the middle. You can split the page by simply putting a line down the middle. The next step would be to decide on a topic. You may want students to translate vocabulary words, or practice verb conjugations. The possibilities are endless! You will then want to create one side of the screen with vocabulary words you want students to translate, questions you want students to answer, or verbs you want students to conjugate. When creating the first side, make sure to include enough questions or words for all students to participate after you separate them into two teams. For example, if I have 20 students in my class and each team is 10 kids, I want to definitely incorporate more than 10 questions/words. Once you are done with one side of the screen, simply clone or copy the information to paste on the other side of the screen. This way, you will have identical information on both sides.
How do you prepare your students?
After your slide is all set, you have to explain the rules to your students. First distinguish the two teams. Explain that each team will race against each other to complete all of the information on their side of the board. Designate a space where each team will be able to line up in a straight line. Each team should form a straight line in order to smoothly “hand-off” the marker to the next person. In order to ensure that every member of the team participates, I tell my students that each time it is there time to go up to the board, they are only allowed to do one thing. They can either write one word, or fix one mistake. However, after they do one thing, they pass off the marker to the next person in line. To make the relay race process run smoothly, model how students will hand-off the marker and how they should return to the end of the line. Students will continue to move down the line and continue going up to the board until all answers are completed AND correct.
How do you begin the race?
After explaining the rules and modeling what students will do, I then ask for any questions and set up students in their lines. When there are no more questions, I use a bell to begin the race! Then, the students take control and race against each other. Your role as the teacher is to monitor students and make sure that students are moving down their line and encourage them to help their teammates! Once a team has finished all the questions on their side of the screen, ring the bell to pause the race and check over the answers. Reward the winning team with an appropriate award for your classroom! Whether that is a HW pass, extra points on a test/quiz, etc.
Check out the Relay Race my students did with Conjugating Verbs:
Be prepared for your students to get a little loud, but have SO much fun!!!!